Kiki McDonough comes from a family who made their living from the jewellery business for generations. Indeed, she attributes the chutzpah that was necessary to start her own jewellery business to her childhood familiarity with precious jewels.
Yet McDonough had no intention of becoming a jeweler when she grew up and endured no formal training whatsoever. In the 1980s, she was managing a warehouse for a mail order company when her then husband reported no luck in his search for some jewellery for her ‘for about L300, which was quite a lot of money then’ – and it occurred to her that there was a gab in the market.
She asked her father if he would let her have L5,000 to start her own business. Her father declined, but he would lend it to her at building society rates of interest for two years only. Kiki McDonough repaid her father in eighteen months. She determined, that this was the the last time she had borrowed money.
At the beginning of Kiki McDonough’s business there was no grand plan at first. Unlike her fobears, McDonough was more interested in colour and fashion than antiquities and technical brilliance. She began to design in a way which transcended the boundaries between pretty costume jewellery and real jewellery that often seeks to set a particular stone so that it may be worn as a trophy.
The business had quickly progrssaed from a showcase in someone else’s hsop to her own boutique on Wlizabeth Street, moving after a few years to the even chicer surrounding of Walton Street. But the really smart move, as she now admits, was in not opening a string of stores at that time.
Kiki's enduring success in the fine jewellery business is a testament to her creativity, eye for design and attention to detail. Her passion for colour, elegance and workmanship can be seen in her timeless fine jewellery, each piece showcasing Kiki's love of vibrant colour and wearable design. Her unique colour combinations and use of unusual semiprecious gems set with diamonds have inspired fine jewellery designers all over the world.
Rosamond Pike, Hayley Atwell, Rachel Sterling, Patina Miller, Amanda Burton, Cate Blanchett,